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Advising on innovative digital project

Bernhard Hainz
At CMS, we are very proud to have been able to support the Belvedere in implementing Austria's first NFT drop in the art sector.
Bernhard Hainz

CMS Austria supported the Belvedere Museum in Vienna with the launch of its first NFT drop. A high-resolution digital copy of the world-famous painting The Kiss by Gustav Klimt was divided into a 100 × 100 grid to generate 10,000 distinct individual pieces, which were offered as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The CMS art law team, led by Bernhard Hainz, advised the Belvedere Museum on implementing the project. In addition to Bernhard Hainz, the project team included copyright specialist Saskia Leopold and digital expert Klaus Pateter.

Art NFTs are an innovative concept that has never been used in Austria before. Digitalisation has given rise to complex legal issues, including copyright, but has also allowed digital shares to be recorded on the blockchain and sold via dedicated platforms. At CMS, we are therefore very proud to have been able to support the Belvedere in implementing Austria's first NFT drop in the art sector,” Bernhard Hainz commented.

A special process was chosen for the sale of the NFTs: on 26 January at 00:00, the so-called whitelisting phase began, during which interested parties could register to make a purchase on the platform thekiss.art. On 10 February, those wanting to buy received the right to purchase minted NFTs of unique digital segments of the digitised Kiss. Minting is the process whereby digital art becomes part of a blockchain – this guarantees that each NFT is circulated in an unalterable and tamper-proof way. 10,000 selections of the complete were awarded at random.
 
The drop, the official issue of the NFTs, took place on Valentine's Day, 14 February. The NFT certificates show precisely which part of the digital painting was purchased and owners can view it on a smartphone at any time using an individual QR code. All owners can view the complete picture at thekiss.art. The NFTs can be resold via any standard NFT sales platform.

Bernhard Hainz is convinced that the possibilities of blockchain will not only change fundraising projects in the long term, but also open up new perspectives in other art genres: “I'm not just thinking here about digital photography, but also of projects in other fields."